Cornish Hen vs Chicken: How are they Different?

Cornish chickens are a relatively recent addition to the culinary scene, with the original idea dating back to 1949. Tyson Foods, America’s leading chicken producer, started offering cornish hens in the mid-1960s. Cornish chickens are now widely available in supermarkets.

The biggest distinction between cornish hens and chickens is their size. A cornish hen is tiny enough to serve as a single course at a formal dinner party.

When picking between cornish hen and chicken for your next dinner party or evening indulgence, there are a few extra factors to consider.

Consider the following size, price, flavor, nutrition, adaptability, and cooking style differences:


A cornish hen is essentially a chicken, but a considerably smaller one. Cornish hens are chickens plucked when they weigh one or two pounds, while full roaster chickens weigh three to seven pounds when sold.

When a chicken is offered whole at a grocery store or butcher shop, it is substantially bigger in size. A cornish hen is harvested when it is around five or six weeks old, but a chicken is considered full-grown for butchery when it is three to five months old.

A cornish hen is often offered for cooking and serving whole as an individual meal, while a full chicken may be cut and distributed to a family.


A cornish hen may be purchased for between $2.50 and $5 per pound. However, certain species of factory-farmed chicken may be purchased for as little as $0.99 per pound.

Cornish hens resemble normal entire chickens seen in the meat section. While a cornish hen may seem to be a complex protein choice unsuitable for the ordinary home chef, think otherwise.

To begin, these birds are often advertised as cornish game chickens. This is a misunderstanding that has resulted in an artificially higher pricing for this little kind of chicken. These birds are not game birds, implying that they are exotic or wild creatures.

Cornish hens are just a kind of chicken that has an excellent reputation.

Because of the small size of a cornish hen in comparison to a chicken, the price may be relatively close. A chicken, on the other hand, has far more flesh and adaptability than a cornish hen. A cornish hen is an excellent option for a stunning display.


Cornish chickens are related to suckling pigs and squabs. Because of their tiny size, young meats are more soft and juicy than chicken. This tiny size also allows marinades and sauces more easily absorbed, giving this sometimes-bland protein a blast of flavor.

Some suppliers provide cornish chickens with the skin on, while others do not. We suggest acquiring one of these little birds with the skin so cornish hen portions seem entire. This option enhances moisture and taste retention.

The New York Times suggests this cornish hen dish, which gives this little chicken a Middle-Eastern twist. Pomegranate and sumac are used in this featured dish to accentuate the suppleness and taste of a cornish fowl.


Because cornish hens are slaughtered while they are so young, the bird has substantially less fat overall. This approach delivers meat that is lower in fat and calories than chicken.

This relatively low protein source has more white meat than dark meat. White meat contains niacin, which is good for your diet, but dark meat contains riboflavin.

Regardless matter whether it is a cornish hen or a chicken, fowl in general is abundant in protein. Protein aids in the development of strong muscles. Other vitamins included in fowl include vitamin B, which helps to prevent skin illness, heart disease, and cataracts. Vitamin D improves bone health, while vitamin A promotes eye health.


When it comes to cornish hen and chicken, variety is essential. A cornish hen, as previously said, is so little that it can only be eaten whole, with bones. Deboning a Cornish hen would be both difficult and unnecessary.

Because of this, a cornish hen is typically not a suitable choice for a dish, such as chicken tacos or a casserole. A cornish hen’s increased price also makes it illogical to incorporate it in preparations other than as a complete chicken.

Chicken, on the other hand, is one of the most adaptable proteins available. Every year, around eight billion chickens are consumed in the United States. This is almost twice the quantity consumed since the 1970s. Chicken may be prepared in a variety of ways and for any cuisine. Chicken may be prepared in an infinite number of ways by home chefs.

Cooking Style

As previously said, chicken shines in almost every cooking method. Chicken is wonderful in a variety of ways, including grilled, roasted, braised, and sous vide. In addition, unlike a cornish hen, you may debone and shred chicken or serve a breast, leg, or thigh separately.

A cornish fowl is only served in its whole. A cornish hen is an unusual meat alternative that is usually served as an individual dish. Because of the absence of fat in cornish chickens, they must be cooked with caution. In a 425-degree oven, the recommended cooking time is roughly an hour.

Check the cornish hen every five minutes beginning about 45 minutes of cooking time. To monitor the cooking of a cornish hen, it is a good idea to acquire a meat thermometer. Keep an eye out for the max temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to verify it is safe to consume.

Comparison Table

Cornish Hen Chicken
Slaughtered at five to six weeks Slaughtered at three to five months
Served whole, individual portion Endless ways to serve can feed a family
Costs between $2.50 – $5 per pound Can cost as low as $0.99 per pound

Can you Substitute Cornish Hen for Chicken?

A cornish hen may be used in place of chicken in certain instances. In terms of taste, these two are almost similar. If you have a favorite marinade or flavor for your chicken, it will also work well on a cornish hen.

Some recipes, however, are inappropriate for a cornish hen cooking. These mostly pertain to the way the fowl is cooked or served. Chicken is the ideal option if the recipe asks for deboned chicken or meat divided into smaller, separate sections of the animal.

Consider replacing cornish hen for chicken in dinner party preparations such as a complete roast chicken. As a complete tiny bird is given, this will make an attractive and eye-catching centerpiece for each guest’s dish. This alternative will cost extra money, but it is well worth it!

What is a Cornish Hen?

Cornish hens are little chickens that are butchered when they are quite young. The flavor is almost identical to chicken, however it may be more tender and juicier than regular chicken. A cornish fowl is only served whole and commands a greater price due to its ostensibly sophisticated presentation.

How to use Cornish Hen

Cornish hen developed in the United States after World War II. After a horrific fire killed out the hens on a tiny Massachusetts farm, the farmers cross-bred the surviving flock and butchered them early. As a result, the Cornish hen was created.

Cornish chickens were widely accessible in the United States and across the globe by the 1960s. Cornish hen is now widely available in most supermarkets. This chicken is also known as a cornish game hen, despite the fact that it is not a wild game bird.

A cornish hen has a sophisticated reputation due to its allegedly rich and exotic name, as well as its greater price. You may, however, serve them as a quick evening supper. The very soft, juicy, and tasty flesh is a pleasure that anybody may enjoy.

To avoid overcooking such a little bird, cooks must prepare cornish hen gently and carefully. Roasting with the traditional veggies and potatoes is usually a nice choice. This fowl takes marinades and flavors wonderfully, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

What is Chicken?

Chicken is a common protein source that is still one of the most popular meat alternatives today. Chicken may be cooked in an almost infinite number of ways. Fried chicken is a popular indulgence for many people, whereas chicken street tacos have become a popular fad in the United States.

Chicken is inexpensive and has a taste that may be adapted to many other cuisines. While it may be served whole, like a cornish hen, it can also be cut into pieces. Some recipes may call for a boneless, skinless chicken breast, which you will not find in a cornish hen dish.

How to use Chicken

Chicken is a historic meat source that has been farmed on family farms for millennia. Massive industrial farms now generate billions of these birds for worldwide consumption. Consider using chicken in any of your favorite dishes from across the world, from stir fry to pot pies.

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Is a Cornish hen the same as a chicken?

Cornish game hens are simply chickens; tiny, young, and sensitive fowl. They are not game birds; game birds live in the wild. They’re also not Cornish. The term refers to the breed.

Is a Cornish hen in the chicken family?

Cornish Hens are still classified as chickens with white, black, or red feathers. They have been breeding this species of chicken for a long time in an environment where they can live. Cornish Hens are female hens of any size that do not produce eggs and are thus solely good for their meat.

What makes a chicken a Cornish hen?

Cornish game hen (also Rock Cornish game hen) is the USDA-approved name for a particular variety of broiler chicken, produced from a cross between the Cornish and White Plymouth Rock chicken breeds, that is served young and immature, weighing no more than two pounds (900 g) ready to cook.

Is Cornish hen a baby chicken?

The Rock Cornish Game Hen, also known as the Cornish Game Hen, is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as “a young immature chicken (less than five weeks of age), weighing not more than two pounds ready-to-cook weight, prepared from a Cornish chicken or the progeny of a Cornish chicken crossed with another breed…

Do Cornish hens taste different than chicken?

Taste. To most people, the difference in flavor between Cornish hen and chicken is insignificant. While some argue that chicken has a stronger taste, others argue that there is no difference. To establish which side you fall on, you’ll have to test each one for yourself.

Is Cornish hen tastier than chicken?

The supple flesh of the Cornish hen has a subtler, more delicate flavor than conventional chicken, yet it still tastes distinctively “chicken-y.” Cornish hens, like other chickens, are pink when raw and golden brown and crispy on the exterior when roasted.

Why buy a Cornish hen?

A Cornish game hen is much more fragile than a young broiler. Aside from size and age, the Cornish game hen cross produces bigger breasts and more fat, which naturally bastes the flesh as it cooks, making it even more soft.

Why do they call them Cornish hens?

Cornish hen, sometimes known as Cornish chicken, is a breed of fowl that originated in Cornwall, England, but achieved popularity only when it was introduced to the United States. Its physical structure is distinct from that of other chickens.

Will Cornish hens lay eggs?

Because they were not intended for breakfast, the Cornish chicken will only lay a small number of eggs over their lives. They do, however, lay little, light brown eggs. So, if you decide to add this breed to your flock, don’t expect to produce more than 160 eggs every year.

Can Cornish hens live with chickens?

You may also raise Cornish hens from chicks alongside other kinds of hens, but your Cornish hens will most likely be bossy around your other chickens. Other chickens may be gravely hurt or killed if Cornish hens are raised with tiny or docile types. Also, don’t introduce any additional chicks to a flock of Cornish hens.

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